STAR Physical Therapy is proud to offer a Cancer Program to partner with patients who are being treated for cancer. Our program addresses the unique orthopedic challenges that sometimes accompany cancer treatment. We also provide cardiovascular guidance to keep you physically fit during your cancer treatment.
As early detection and treatment evolve in the fight against Cancer, 12 million Cancer Survivors in the USA alone are “living with cancer”. These survivors are faced with some unique challenges: whether it be an actual cancer recurrence or the adverse effects of cancer or its treatments on their physical function and their quality of life.
Is Exercise Safe?
Evidence continues to mount supporting exercise as safe both during and after cancer treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy. Regular exercise leads to improvements in aerobic endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and balance leading to improved physical function and quality of life. Additionally, regular aerobic exercise has been shown to play a vital role in cancer prevention and control. Evidence supports that exercise decreases the risk of many cancers and may extend survival for breast & colon cancer survivors.
Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of prostate cancer survivors, and according to the American Heart Association, there’s no disputing that aerobic exercise decreases the risk of early death due to cardiovascular disease.
In 2009, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) convened a panel of experts to explore the evidence associated with cancer and exercise as well as determine recommendations for duration & intensity of exercise. The overwhelming conclusions were that not only is exercise safe but the benefits are far-reaching. Physical function, quality of life, balance, psychosocial well-being & BMI (body mass index) improvements, bone mineral density increases, decreased fatigue & improved sleep, self-esteem gains are all attributed to regular exercise. These are only a few of the cancer side effects that can be improved with regular exercise. Additionally, improved cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and balance will contribute to improved quality of life and aid in the prevention of disuse atrophy and falls.
The ACSM recommends an aerobic program of 75 minutes of intense activity or 150 minutes of moderate activity weekly. Additionally, the ACSM recommends a muscular strengthening program as well as a flexibility program 2-3 times per week.
However, it is also noted that exercise programs need to be adapted & specialized based on an individual’s “strengths and weaknesses”. Physical Therapists with their “Move Forward” motto are the perfect fit to provide guidance and instruction on exercise both during and after cancer treatments. Long term survivors can also benefit from a well-designed program that addresses their individual needs and goals. Aerobic endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, & balance are best assessed in an individual by a well trained professional so that the program can be designed to best address your needs and goals. Supervision by a health care practitioner or fitness professional that has knowledge about cancer and its treatments is vital to a successful outcome.
STAR Physical Therapy has 16 locations that offer a Cancer Program. Click here to learn more